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2018 Guide to the Best Online Doctoral Programs

The Best Online PhD Programs

❶The George Washington University offers degrees at the associates level all the way up to the doctoral level, including many certificates.

Best Online PhD Programs Methodology

Best Online PhD Program: 7 Factors to Consider
Best Online PhD Programs
What is a Doctoral Degree?

Though requirements vary, curricula emphasize career skills necessary for senior roles, combining research, application, and examination methods and techniques. The university offers a variety of financial aid options and military discounts for online students. The university offers dozens of online graduate programs in fields such as agricultural sciences, education, health and human sciences, and natural resources and environment.

Online and on-campus courses are taught by the same faculty, and online students are eligible for the same financial aid opportunities as on-campus students. CSU offers two Ph. D online programs in higher education leadership and systems engineering. Both programs are delivered in a hybrid format and consist of primarily online study with a classroom component.

The online higher education leadership Ph. D is cohort-based and comprises four years of study culminating in a dissertation. Students attend a summer-term orientation and at least one on-campus course per semester.

Systems engineering students may choose to take some on-campus courses, and in-person attendance is required to present the dissertation. The university offers 25 online and hybrid degrees and certificates in health professions, dentistry, nursing, public health, and religion. In a show of commitment to its growing online division, LLU implemented a task force to innovate digital learning efforts within the university. LLU offers two Ph. D programs online , a doctor of nursing practice and a doctor of public health in health education.

The programs are delivered in a hybrid format, combining online study with on-campus and off-site requirements. The DNP curriculum comprises 68 total credits and culminates in a DNP proposal and final project, both of which require a minimum number of clinical hours.

The doctor of public health includes synchronous online coursework, optional on-campus summer courses, and mandatory campus visits for the dissertation. As a member of the national Quality Matters program, U of A offers online programs that meet the same rigorous standards as its on-campus offerings.

Each online degree and certificate program began on campus, developed alongside traditional programs by the same world-renowned faculty and instructors. U of A serves nearly 1, online students and offers 60 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and licensure programs.

U of A 's online doctoral degrees include offerings in adult and lifelong learning, educational leadership, human resource and workforce development education, and nursing practice. The online DNP offers family nurse practitioner and adult-geriatric acute care nurse practitioner concentrations.

Coursework is completed primarily online, but minimal campus visits, an in-person program orientation on-campus, and local clinical practicum hours are required. Education doctoral programs in adult and lifelong learning and educational leadership are cohort-based and require some campus visits; the online Ed. D in human resource and workforce development education is a fully online degree.

Applicants to any of the online Ph. D programs in education must submit GRE scores. Though its main campus is situated between South Beach Miami and the Everglades, NSU has numerous regional locations and a comprehensive distance education department. Online programs at NSU include real-time interactive coursework and access to the electronic library database. NSU offers eight Ph.

D programs online in IT and healthcare-related fields. Students aspiring to senior-level clinical practitioner positions pursue a doctorate in health science or occupational therapy, while IT professionals choose from Ph.

D programs in computer information systems, computer science, computing technology in education, and information science. NSU also offers an interdisciplinary Ph. D in conflict analysis and resolution online. The majority of doctoral coursework is completed online, but all programs require a minimum number of on-campus visits. The doctor of health science and the degrees in occupational therapy require a practicum or research residency.

D programs culminate in a capstone project or dissertation. The flagship campus of the Indiana University system, IU has provided diverse research and liberal arts programs since Today, the university offers more than programs to nearly 50, students.

While many of its on-campus students are from outside the U. D programs in education ; the Ed. D is available in instructional systems technology or literacy, culture, and language education. Online doctoral programs consist of primarily asynchronous coursework and incorporate web chats and audio-video conferencing tools.

Online doctoral programs follow the same guidelines and schedule as on-campus programs. The curriculum includes inquiry core, major, and minor coursework and culminates in a dissertation.

D candidates complete the majority of coursework online and meet minimal on-campus residency requirements. Established in as a teachers college, CMU provides innovative education programs on campus and online. CMU is among the largest public universities in the U. More than 7, students are enrolled in online programs at CMU, which include specializations in business, technology, education, and healthcare professions.

CMU offers three Ph. Online doctoral programs are offered in a cohort format; students complete online courses as a group while adhering to a set schedule. D in educational leadership requires 63 credits of synchronous coursework and four mandatory on-campus summer sessions.

D in educational technology comprises 54 credits and can be completed entirely online; during the first two years, students take two courses per semester in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The credit DHA combines online coursework with six in-person seminars and a culminating essay exam.

Concordia-Chicago offers more than undergraduate and graduate degree programs, each with a liberal arts foundation. The university's distance programs include dozens of accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs in unique specializations in business, healthcare, religion, management, and education.

Concordia-Chicago offers 13 doctoral programs online in business administration, gerontology, and education and leadership disciplines. Though requirements vary, doctoral candidates typically complete 60 to 68 credits of online coursework, which culminates in a comprehensive exam and dissertation or capstone project.

The majority of education specializations — including educational technology, curriculum and instruction, and leadership — allow students to pursue an Ed. CityU provides dozens of online career-centered degrees and certificates in management, education, arts and sciences, applied leadership, technology, and languages.

CityU offers online Ph. D programs in business administration and leadership. The DBA requires 91 credits in business administration core, research core, and applied learning courses, including three residencies, a capstone, and a dissertation.

Coursework is highly interactive and requires one hour of live chat and virtual lectures per week. The online doctor of education in leadership is available in three concentrations: Students may develop their own concentration in global leadership, entrepreneurship, adult education and online learning, or a customized focus area. Doctoral students must participate in an orientation, which may be completed online or in person. Hybrid study plans are available.

With a main campus in Miami Shores and more than 30 additional learning centers throughout Florida and the Virgin Islands, Barry is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast U. The university offers more than degree programs in specialized fields such as marine biology, theology, social work, and nursing.

Barry offers four online Ph. D programs in occupational therapy and nursing practice. The post-master's DNP offers an optional specialization in anesthesiology. Part-time students complete the OTD in about two years.

Coursework is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously through Adobe Connect and Canvas. In addition to online coursework, candidates complete a week residency during their second year and conclude the program with a capstone or final project. The online DNP comprises 35 to 38 semester hours of online coursework, residency requirements, and a three-part DNP scholarly project.

Though the DNP requires 1, clinical hours, the program is designed as a post-master's degree, which means most applicants will have already completed many of the clinical hours. Barry offers tuition discounts to qualifying DNP candidates. At Amridge, distance learning is the primary format for academic programs. In , Amridge was one of only 15 schools chosen to test a national pilot distance learning program.

Amridge offers numerous online Ph. D programs in business, human services, and theology. Amridge offers both practice- and research-based programs and provides doctoral candidates with comprehensive career-centered coursework, which is completed entirely online in an accelerated format. While requirements vary, curricula typically comprise core and emphasis courses, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation presentation. The university offers a variety of online doctorate programs in ministry, including a DM in in family therapy, a Ph.

D in marriage and family therapy, a Ph. D in professional counseling, a Ph. D in biblical studies in either the Old Testament or the New tament, and a customizable Ph. D in interdisciplinary studies. Prospective students considering a career in K administration have the opportunity to advance professionally while completing their degree in an inclusive online learning environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking.

The credit curriculum includes a residency that requires students to enroll in six or more credits for three consecutive semesters. Comprised of research and professional development components, students fulfill additional residency requirements through the completion of a research project and by attending at least three conferences.

This program follows a cohort model and admits students twice a year. A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic degree that can be awarded to college students. Research doctoral degrees are perhaps the most common type attained in North America, as well as abroad. Professional doctoral degrees, which provide advanced research and study in a particular discipline such as psychology, medicine, or law, are another common type of terminal degree, gaining in popularity since the introduction of the Medicinae Doctor MD at Columbia University in Doctoral online degrees continue to grow in popularity among students seeking to maximize their career opportunities, with the percentage of people age 25 and over who have completed at least a doctoral degree increasing, though nominally, between and See the outline below, which lists out the number of people age 25 and over who completed at least a doctoral degree by year:.

Though it may seem moderate, this increase in enrollment has a major effect in the current job market, making now the perfect time to explore many of the PhD programs online today. This influx of doctoral enrollment makes for greater competition among even the highest-qualified candidates in their field; while job-seekers with a terminal degree typically held an automatic advantage over lesser-qualified candidates, they now face mounting competition from a higher number of equally educated peers.

The average time it takes to complete a PhD is four to seven years, which means many students spend more than a decade immersed in college life before earning a terminal degree.

Among their many benefits, accredited online PhD programs can save students time, especially in disciplines like business, public service, and engineering, which may take as little as years to complete.

While special accelerated PhD programs online are rare, the nature of online coursework, which allows students to study in their own time while still working and taking care of their families, can be a major advantage to online students who are looking to save on the tuition, housing, and commuting costs included in a traditional program. A little research and they can find the best online PhD programs to meet their unique needs and goals. The debate over how important it really is to earn a doctoral degree has heated up in recent years.

While some argue that it is impractical to expect many students to have the funds and resources it takes to spend years of their lives earning a terminal degree, others see the inherent benefits of pursuing a doctorate, citing an increase in available online PhD programs and generous graduate scholarships as attractive incentives. A universal concept in all corners of the workforce, candidates with a terminal degree have the greatest advantage when it comes to top jobs and high salaries.

Online PhD programs in education and business, for example, can be especially advantageous to a candidate looking to set themselves apart from others in these highly competitive fields. There is more than one type of doctoral degree. The Doctor of Philosophy PhD is among the category of doctorates rooted in research, which also spans fields including education, engineering, theology, and more. Online PhD programs exist today alongside online professional doctoral programs at a growing number of tech-savvy colleges and universities.

While similar, PhDs and professional doctorates tend to serve a different aim for different demographics. Generally, PhDs are well-suited to younger adults who aspire to teach or conduct research within academia at the university level, and require full-time study, while professional doctorates are geared toward working adults with professional experience who seek to combine advanced academic and real-world skills in a part-time program.

The differences between earning a PhD and MD a professional doctorate , for example, are striking: Though often shorter in length, professional doctoral programs are designed to combine job skills with essential curriculum in a concentrated format that prepares students for a broader variety of advanced employment in their field. With a steady increase of doctoral degrees available online, students aspiring to any number of high-level professions can pursue a terminal degree in their specialty.

Though the influx of online education options has made earning a doctorate more accessible to the masses, many of the same disciplines have retained their popularity throughout the years. It is no surprise that doctoral degrees in the health professions, required for common positions including MDs, were the most popular in the academic year, followed by doctorates in legal professions, education, engineering, and more.

Earning an EdD is a popular choice for aspiring education administrators and curriculum designers, among other educators interested in developing practical solutions for modern education concerns. Common concentrations may include higher education leadership, early childhood education, or elementary STEM education. Though different than the EdD degree, PhD concentrations often include a variety of education options, as well as specializations in business, marketing, and public health, among other research fields.

Rooted in the advanced study of divinity, the Doctor of Theology offers a research degree that is comparable to the PhD. Optional concentrations often include history of Christianity, world church and world religions, and liturgical studies. As the basic standard we expect of medical doctors and primary physicians, an MD is required to practice general medicine in the U.

While opinions about online education were largely divided in the early years of its inception, attitudes have increasingly warmed to the positive results of distance education. Initial studies in previous decades seemed to indicate a hesitation among both higher learning institutions and students to recognize online degree programs as being worthy of their traditional campus counterparts.

Contemporary surveys report a rise in both demand for online courses as well as student satisfaction. Generally, online degrees are cheaper than traditional on-campus programs.

Accredited online PhD programs and other doctoral programs can offer extensive savings of both time and money for distance learners. Online PhD programs tend to have lower tuition costs, made possible by offering all content online, and do not incur fees for using campus resources that are included in most traditional degrees.

Additionally, parents and working adults may be able to save on childcare costs and lost wages by completing their degree in the comfort of their own home. While graduate degree programs take longer to complete and are relatively more expensive than their undergraduate counterparts, there are a number of financial aid options for graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program. Federal aid tends to be offered to graduate students earning a secondary degree in lower amounts than undergraduate students entering college for the first time, which means that grants and scholarships are a major source of funding for doctoral students.

As doctoral candidates are likely well aware at this point in their academic careers, cost is a factor that should always be considered when choosing an online degree program. Aside from the major expenditure of tuition itself, other costs like interest rates, living expenses, and textbooks may be overlooked at first, but are of equal importance when it comes to the bottom line. Doctoral degrees are unique in that, unlike undergraduate degrees, online programs at this level are not typically offered in an accelerated format, which means students may not be able to cut costs as dramatically and save time versus earning a traditional degree.

However, completing a PhD program online can help to eliminate commuting costs, housing fees on campus, and even some materials fees that can be downloaded, instead. Also, remember that the type of school and program you choose will greatly affect the cost of the degree, as shown below:. The length of time it takes to complete an online doctoral program varies according to several different factors, including the field of study, whether the student is part time or full time, and how the online content is delivered.

On average, completion times for doctorates hover around eight years, though doctoral education programs tend to have the longest average 13 years , whereas physics and psychology, for example, average only five to seven. Disciplines within the hard sciences generally take less time to complete than education and humanities programs.

To help personalize the learning experience and possibly speed things along , many online PhD programs offer either self-paced or cohort learning, which assembles a group of online students to complete each module collectively. Students following an independent research course through one of the many available PhD programs online may be more suited to a self-paced option, whereas another student earning a professional doctorate may benefit from the collaborative efforts of an online learning group, though this is dependent on individual preference.

Though online programs generally share many of the same benefits, they are not all created equal. First, make sure the program you choose is tailored to your career needs, and will prepare you for any certification or licensing exams that may be required in your particular area of study.

Some programs require campus visits in combination with online study, which means your proximity to campus may be a consideration if this is the case. Though all online programs offer flexibility, consider your learning style and what you need from the learning environment. If you are looking to study at your own pace, you may want to seek out a program that offers asynchronous classes that allow students to complete courses in their own time.

The price of earning your doctorate online, a concern at the forefront of the minds of most students, may vary depending on whether your program if offered by a nonprofit or for-profit, or private or public school. Though your location of residence may seem irrelevant to an online program, it actually plays a role in determining the cost of earning your online degree. Many schools charge different amount for in- and out-of-state tuition, for both online and on-campus programs.

Even if your online program does not require any campus visits, you may be asked to submit proof of residence as part of the application process in order to qualify to pay cheaper in-state rates. Students may prefer to enroll in an online program within their home state to take advantage of name recognition, or to pursue career counseling or other on-campus services.

In any college program, accreditation is paramount to the process of selecting a top online degree. A reputable school offering online degree programs may offer regional or national accreditation, although regional accreditation is most common. While all legitimate higher learning institutions must be regionally accredited, national accreditation is an optional process a school can volunteer to pursue only if they choose.

Nationally accredited institutions can pose a unique problem for potential transfer students; though nationally accredited institutions may honor credits from a school with either a national or regional accreditation designation, a regionally accredited school typically does not recognize credits earned from a nationally accredited institution.

With a long history of granting accreditation only through a rigorous process of meeting the highest standards in postsecondary education, several key organizations have a hand in the accreditation process. The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation not only set the standards for all higher education institutions to be measured against as part of the accreditation process, but also oversee each of the regional boards that provide state and interstate accreditation to schools across the U.

These agencies ensure that, for a school to earn accreditation, they must meet quality standards through a lengthy process that includes site visits and thorough institutional assessments. Earning a doctoral degree might not be for everyone, but it can lead the way to a prestigious career in a number of top-earning fields for the upwardly mobile student. Many occupations in education, medicine, and research require a doctoral degree, which provides students with the academic knowledge and professional skills needed to aide to them in their careers.

The following are just some of the careers that require a doctoral degree:. Postsecondary professors represent the highest level of instructors in academia. Advanced administrative and curriculum planning skills top the list of the most desirable job skills for top professionals in this field. Senior research scientists typically work in an academic, industrial, or commercial lab, conducting experiments and research that may help to develop new products or further global efforts in the field.

While material science is a large part of the doctoral curriculum required for this career, other desirable job skills include product development and project management abilities. Psychiatrists are responsible for evaluating and treating patients for mental disorders through direct patient care. Earning a doctoral degree and obtaining licensure enables psychiatrists, unlike psychologists, to prescribe medications in their state.

Physical therapists are responsible for treating patients for a variety of physical ailments, from simple injuries to extreme disabilities, by helping them to recover and regain basic daily activities. Doctoral degrees in this discipline provide students with the acute care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy techniques needed for the job. Could I go further than a masters degree?

Could an online PhD be an option for me? Amazingly enough… it seemed like it actually could! In the last several years distance education offerings across the United States have exploded. I honestly wish I had the time — not to mention the money!

But since my chances of winning the lottery this year are once again miniscule, I narrowed my choices using the same seven factors I used when searching for an online masters degree in order to find the best online doctorate for me: Then, if you do well on your first 2- 4 courses, you could be admitted as a degree-seeking student. Pending the approval of the faculty, credit hours from prior masters or doctoral programs can sometimes be transferred, reducing the number of credits the student needs to earn the new online doctorate degree.

Of course, the cost of the degree is always a significant factor. Also, keep in mind the number of credits per course and how many classes you are required to take at a time- taking fewer courses at once may make your payments easier to budget.

Expenses related to flights, food, and a room may, once tacked on to tuition and fees, cost as much or more than a single class. Keeping these seven tips in mind, I found several interesting online PhD programs in my own online doctoral search, however, the one that fit the best was the Online Doctor of Science in Information Systems from Dakota State University. Dakota State University Online has no residency requirements, and while the online PhD requires 88 credit hours 63 hours of coursework, 25 of dissertation , up to 27 credits of masters-level credits can be transferred.

This was a deciding factor for me since I recently earned my masters degree online from Dakota State. So, for me, if I want to get serious about stepping up to an online doctoral program as my next education milestone, I may have a lot of work ahead of me. Overall, the most important advice for anyone who is looking to begin a new online degree, especially an online PhD, is to weigh as many of these seven factors as you can before choosing the best degree for you.

Factors like program accreditation, cost, and class schedule should be taken into account before enrolling in an online graduate degree program. Evaluate these seven online PhD factors first, and you will save yourself time, worry, and maybe even a little bit of your sanity. Get Educated profiles more than online PhD degrees.

You can sort all of them into a custom list of the best online doctorate degrees for your needs according to accreditation type, major, and cost by using our search filters and sort buttons. He has also worked for Kansas State University as the webmaster, managing both the College of Engineering and Engineering Extension web sites.

Image Credits In order of appearance: The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 20 years! Best Online PhD Program: This is an even bigger consideration when choosing a PhD, especially an online PhD.

2018 Best Online Colleges for Doctoral Degrees - Ranking Details

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Accredited online PhD programs can save students time, especially in disciplines like business, public service, and engineering. Learn more about online requirements, field availability, and the most reputable schools offering online doctoral programs for the academic year.

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A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a postgraduate degree conferred by universities. It is the top academic degree available in a field. A Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a post-graduate degree offered by a business school or business faculty at a university.

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There are many online graduate programs to choose from across the country. Review your options and find the accredited online graduate program for you. Find the Best Online Program Online. The U.S. has many reputable schools with online Ph.D. programs. These colleges and universities provide graduate students with the chance to earn Ph.D.'s in a variety of areas, including.

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Top 20 Best Colleges With Online PhD Programs Explore accredited online doctor of philosophy degree programs A doctorate degree, or doctor of philosophy, is the absolute highest level of academic achievement that one can earn.